Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource


Palau Guell

The six pictures in this sequence are from the roof terrace of the Palau Guell. This splendid town house was built by Gaudi between 1885 and 1890 for his wealthy patron, Eusebi Guell. The terrace has 20 chimneys and Gaudi used them to provide striking sculptural interest, through their unusual shapes, imaginative brickwork or cladding.The materials he used included earthenware, marble, sandstone and brightly coloured tiles. Using tiles in this way is part of a Catalan tradition known as trencadis (trencadis de ceramica).

One hundred years on, the covering of the chimneys is a mix of original work and 20th century restoration. Some of this has been to restore original designs, with a few additions, while some chimneys (including those left unfinished by Gaudi) have had their designs reinterpretted by local artists.

To me, these lively, colourful mosaics bear the hallmark of Josep Maria Jujol, the creator of the stunning mosaics in the Parc Guell (such as the bench - see Gallery 1). Did he add them after the main work on the house was finished? Or were they perhaps revised in the style of the Parc Guell and attributed to Gaudi?

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